For every 5 bands I discover, 1 great band always slips through the net, and I’m ashamed to say that Spektralized were the ones that got away, for “My Needs” is the first I’ve ever heard of this group.
Immediately reminded of Futurepop meets Electro-Industrial, the title track kicks off with a bass-heavy beat, and Richard Bjørklund’s voice has that memorable, distinctive edge that you need to sustain yourselves as a viable act in this niche. I’m drawn to comparisons with fellow Norwegian’s “Cue To Recall”, but Spektralized are a touch more melodic and sombre.
Arguably the most famous Norwegian act, “Icon of Coil” are the first to remix “My Needs”, and this has that build up that IoC are always hellbent in deploying. The vocals are mixed out a bit, to give a more haunting dialogue, and the mix itself is a dance floor bomb.
Trance producer “Einar K” is next to remix the track, and like you’d expect, it’s got a fantastic dance rhythm to it – Einar is certainly a talented musician – the female vocal passage halfway through is beautiful!
Unfamiliar act “Isle of Crows” are the first to make the track a little heavier, and this is true EBM, circa 1985. The “My Needs” remixes end with a lengthy contribution by the mysterious “Zargg”, and the mix isn’t one of my favourites, it’s just more of the same.
The wonderful Code 64 have leant the talents of DJ Bariuz to remix “Strange Reactions” – I don’t know the original, but this is fine, melodic, futurepop that I really would listen to over and over again.
The remaining mixes are of tracks I’m not familiar with –
“Technomancer” (with “Angst Pop”) have a go at “Learn And Teach”, and as always, Roy Digre’s music is full of confidence and maximum possible accessibility. There’s a reason why Norway has a vacancy to fill Apoptygma Berzerk’s boots, and It’s gonna be Technomancer or Spektralized that fill it.
“Mental Discipline” mix “Special Feeling”, “Supercraft” mix “Stardust”, and “Kristian Torkilsen” re-interprets “All So Wasted”.
Now, this EP isn’t aiming to promote the biggest bands in the world by having them remix the material (Except Icon of Coil), but what this EP has done, is get me very interested in Spektralized (who seem to be one of the finer Futurepop acts out there), and promote the local scene in Norway (one considered quite desolate in the EBM world) – there’s a party of talented Norwegian artists on this. It even extends a hearty wave to some of Sweden’s talented producers.
This EP, if nothing else, is worth the cost for anyone with a growing interest in Trance, EBM, or Futurepop. Time for me to seek out Spektralized’s older work.